Growth this Spring

Spring is always a beautiful time. Forgotten bulbs send up their leaves. Perennials reemerge like faithful friends. Dry twigs send out fresh shoots.

Things grow — and this spring our Gardening Club has grown, as well. What started as two incredibly faithful people has blossomed into over a dozen. We have transplanted lilies to the rose garden and the auditorium entrance, started seedlings in trays, eaten really hot peppers (I mean really hot!), and are working on upgrading four raised beds in the greenhouse. We’ve also pulled weeds — they grow, too, unfortunately! — but the good conversations keep it from feeling like work.

This week we’ll be putting the finishing touches on our new pumpkin patch area so that it will be ready for planting as soon as temperatures are stable. The pumpkin patch will be available to our local grade school classes which (in normal years) are able to come to the OCC (Our Creator’s Classroom) for nature field trips guided by my environmental science students.

Things grow — and so does knowledge. Though we haven’t been able to host OCC field trips this year, my students have been making video lessons in class. Beyond just filling a gap, this different format (videos rather than live - click here to see some of the videos) has helped me reflect on and improve the instructions and feedback I give to my students. This professional growth, like all growing things, will cascade into future years.

This year has pushed me to develop my pedagogical tools in other ways, as well. In this bizarre year, I decided to go as digital as possible so that fluctuations between in-person and remote were as seamless as possible for my students. I am so grateful that this was also the year I was able to participate monthly in TEC21, a Lutheran-based group helping teachers integrate meaningful technology into their lessons and classrooms. It was invaluable to be able to listen, share, and bounce ideas off of others whom I might not normally collaborate with. As with pulling weeds, good conversation makes work feel lighter and a bit more sunny.

Things grow — and sometimes they crop up where you didn’t expect. The past 400 days have brought a lot of “didn’t expect,” but I hope for you some of it has been good. May you keep on growing. Enjoy the sunshine!

Laura Bohnke,
Science Teacher and Director of Our Creator’s Classroom